When Men Stand Up Against Sexism

Last month, I wrote a post that took a feminist inspired look at the ‘fake geek girl.’ This has been one of my most popular posts. Rarely does a day go by without at least one person commenting on it.

The other day, Jesus Garay provided a comment that left me a bit speechless. He shared a story about a time where he called a man out on his sexist ‘fake geek girl’ comments and was called a ‘white knight.’  To my knowledge, being a white knight isn’t usually a bad thing, but it was clear in the context of his comment that he took offense to this label. It implied the only reasons for his actions were to stand up for a woman and he went on to say he was there to help a fan. Gender wasn’t an important factor.

I probably typed and rejected four or five different responses before I let the comment sit. Jesus’s comment brought forth too many ideas and opinions from me. There was one common theme in the responses I typed. Patriarchy harms men, too.

If that statement sounds familiar, it’s because I’ve written about the negative effects patriarchy can have on men. The main point is that patriarchy is more about masculinity than it is about having a penis. If you have a penis and choose to act in a non-masculine fashion, society is not kind to you. Sometimes, the reaction can be violent, such as when a member of the LGBT community is beaten just because of their sexuality. Other times, society’s reaction seems more like a bully who laughs at the one who is different.

The reason Jesus gives for his anger seems to be the assumption that he only helped out a fan because of her gender, implying they thought he wouldn’t have done the same thing had they been harassing another man.

There are assumptions on both genders here. Obviously there is the claim a woman can’t truly be into geek or nerd culture and that she must be doing it for male attention. The male assumption is that the only reason for coming to her aid is to woe her. That is the fairy tale of the white knight, after all. He saves his princess and together, they ride off into the sunset, living happily ever after.

At first glance, that male assumption may not seem like much. There is nothing wrong with a man standing up for a woman, just like there is nothing wrong for any person, of any gender, to stand up for any other person of any gender. As Jesus said, he would have gladly come to the aid of any fan. Gender wasn’t a factor.

This photo, “DSC_0074” is copyright (c) 2014 us006409 and made available under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license

I feel like there is something else behind the term ‘white knight’ that brought offense in this situation. There is a male stereotype out there that says a man doesn’t do anything for a woman without expecting something in return. Usually, that something has sexual implications. This is related to the idea that a man and a woman can’t be ‘just friends’ (as if friendship is such a horrible thing).

Everyone has different opinions on this. I have met women who refuse to let their significant other have female friends and vice versa. That seems insane, immature and insecure to me, but to each their own. I’m not here to dictate the relationships of others. I will say, however, than men and woman can be friends. They can enjoy each other’s company, think each other is attractive and not have any desire to bang.

Sometimes I feel like this is still a radical idea. I have my share of men who are great friends. Why is that such a threat?

One other things stands out to me about the assumption a man would stand up for someone just because they are a woman. The flip side of that thought is that they would not stand up for someone of another gender.

It shouldn’t matter who needs help. Men who are being harassed by bullies or who are in need of assistance deserve help as much as anyone of another gender. They shouldn’t feel ashamed either. We all need help sometimes and whether or not someone comes to our aid shouldn’t depend on our gender.

In our society, the idea that women need protection is normal. Men, on the other hand, are expected to be masculine. They are expected to stand up for themselves and provide for their own well being. Even if it’s an unconscious assumption, I wonder if that is the reason why there is no NIte Ride for men.  It’s the same reason why male victims of rape or domestic violence are far less likely than women to report to the authorities. In being unable to protect themselves, a quality that is not considered masculine, they fear the judgement of society.

These might not be the ideas people assume a feminist would have, but here I am and here they are. Feminism is about gender equality. It shouldn’t matter whether you are male, female or non-binary. We all deserve respect, protection and chivalrous action when the bullies are coming down on us.

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52 thoughts on “When Men Stand Up Against Sexism”

  1. This is a very touchy subject in which most times we tend to put our emotions in front our morals. Justice should be for all however, governments and societies have always looked at stature and color. The male was created to be the maintainers and protectors of the female. Since life has become unnatural none can be trusted as to what their intentions are. God is left out of the details and therefore our views become distorted. For example:

    Leviticus 20:13
    “‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

    So in light of this what makes same sex marriage justifiable? I’m not against equal rights, I believe that everyone should be able to do whatever they desire as long as it is in the realm of our nature and according to our God. Yes people should be allowed to marry and be with whom they choose but they should also be prepared and willing to endure what God has commanded.

    I stand up for women no matter how or what another person feels, in the same way that I stand up for what’s right and maybe even more so because I am naturally inclined towards the woman.

    1. Your position on marriage equality here presumes there is a God, and moreover the Christian God. Since people can be moral and good without a belief in God and by believing in God through other religions your position simply is not defendable except in a very narrow moral sense, in that you derive your morality from a specific set of guidelines in one holy book. Moreover as often the case this line of Leviticus is lauded as some sort of proof of God’s law against homosexuality while practically every other law commanded in Leviticus (not to mention many other places in the bible). You must then at least be morally consistent and hold the same views towards having sex with your wife during her period, having tattoos, wearing mixed fabrics, and eating shellfish. Somehow I never see God’s law making it into the media or legislation concerning those other issues which God supposedly commanded.

    2. I can agree with you that all deserve equal rights, but I cannot agree with the idea that those rights must match a specific religion. There can be no religion freedom in that sort of society. As religion has been used as an excuse to discriminate against women for centuries, I would not be comfortable with any sort of government or protections that are religiously based.

      I personally believe in religious freedom, which means no law can be based solely on religion. For example, when I attend churches, I make a point to attend institutions which support equal marriage. I interpret that section of the Bible different than you do. I take no offense to your beliefs on that issues, but I would take offense if you tried to remove the rights of the LGBT community to legally marry. In doing that, you are creating a law that is against my religious beliefs, thereby depriving me of my religious freedom.

      Lastly, there is nothing wrong with standing up for women. I’m not trying to say that. What I am saying is that, when a man stands up for a woman, he is not always doing so for her gender. He does so because she is a human being in need of help. I would expect a good person to stand up for all people in need, regardless of their gender. There doesn’t need to be some hidden motive. We can help each other out simply because we have compassion for another human being.

      1. Please don’t get me wrong, I never said anything about removing anyone’s rights. I believe that anyone have the right to do as they please, but keep in mind that there are consequences to our actions. With same sex relationships our Creator saw things that we didn’t i.e. aids, disease, just to name a few but it goes beyond even that. We were created to procreate and if you put gay people on an island they would become extinct unless they did what is natural.

        Every religion that has discriminate against women is against God because He never ordained this act. You cannot blame the religion for people’s misguidance. All of the religions that Allah sent down with the prophets were correct. It is man that distorted by adding to it or by taking away from it.

        People have their own opinions and that is fine. However, there is only one truth and whether we all find that truth out now or when we return to our Creator to be judged accordingly so be it.

    1. I’m under the impression this event took place somewhere other than the internet. I certainly wouldn’t find it to be an insult, but in the context, it implies he was only helping because it was a girl who needed help. I wonder if they acted that way because they felt resentment that no one came to their aid when they were bullied as children. (As a nerd myself, I make that assumption based on the fact many nerds are bullies when younger)

      1. Ohhh, gotcha. I assumed the internet, because that is where I hear that term a lot. Who knows why the person acted that way. I don’t know the complete context, but if the person that called Jesus a “white knight” was also the person bullying the girl, there’s always a chance that person didn’t like being called out on their bullying and decided to respond with more bullying.

  2. Brilliantly put, and very insightful. I can perfectly understand why being called a ‘white knight’ in this context would be offensive. The assumption that everything a man does is about sex is just as belittling to a man as being seen as a sex object is to a woman. Trying to force people into little gender-labelled boxes helps nobody.

    1. Exactly. There isn’t even a need here. I don’t see why a nerdy man isn’t thrilled to find a nerdy women, especially if they are thought to be so rare (they’re not, for the record).

  3. I’m always reminded that for every social norm to which a woman must conform there exists one for a man.

    1. I wish more people saw it that way. All it takes to be a feminist is to see women as equal to men. While that’s great, I often feel like issues of men are ignored. Just because male stereotypes may not hurt men as much as female stereotypes hurt women does not mean they shouldn’t be discussed. I see critiques of feminism that aren’t based on the assumption feminists hate men. It’s so frustrating because, if feminism is to critiqued, it would be that they are ignoring the very real effects patriarchy has on men. Men who don’t fit the social norm patriarchy sets for them deserve just as much equality and respect as women.

  4. I don’t think the concept of a White Knight should be insulting and I think feeling insulted by it is to misunderstand what a Knight was. The attraction of the woman to the White Knight is for what he stands for not because he was rescuing a particular woman for a particular reason. The idealized Knight is one who is bound by honor to do what’s right at risk to their own person. The White Knight would save anybody who was in need as well, regardless of gender. The fact that a woman should find this attractive is because the White Knight is brave and fights for what is right. There is nothing wrong with being attracted to such qualities. I think in this situation, if the implication is that one is only doing what’s right in order to win affection from women, then I would say that is not the behavior of a Knight and thus the term was used incorrectly.

    Perhaps once again we get to the heart though of whether any action is completely selfless. I think part of it depends on one’s definition of selfless. The fact remains is that you can still act according to your moral convictions and have multiple outcomes possible, some which may benefit you directly and there is nothing inherently wrong with that in my opinion.

    1. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that either and I agree that being called a knight is not typically an insult. I can see, however, why it would be frustrating for people to assume the only reason behind your action is for the girl.

      What I really think was happening here is that those guys probably resented the fact that no one came to their aid when they were bullied. They then assume that was because they are men (and they were expected to ‘man up’) and that the woman is getting special treatment. I would be Jesus’s offense came from the idea that the only reason he would stand up for a person is because of their gender. It’s insulting to him, to assume his actions toward the women are only about sex.

  5. I have read that ancient Egypt was at one time a Matriarchy, which would probably create problems too. Later in the time of Hypatia of Alexandria, men and women were equals. They taught together, even nudity was not as taboo as today. It wasn’t till orthodox christianity came into being that the Divine Goddess was taken out of the people’s religion. Mankind severely suffered the loss of their Goddess (we today cannot understand the consequences of the Goddess forcibly taken away).. A few centuries later the Vatican made Mary a sort of female source of “worship” but it was too little too late. The dogma doesn’t sit well and women were/are still oppressed. Patriarchy absolutely hurts men. Try to not show emotions growing up. Not to be afraid of a bully, not to cry when hurt. Fitting in with the high school guys that see the girls as only sex objects (and some girls that see themselves as only sex objects). Macho pressure is not a normal way of Being. I began to unlearn this taught behavior after having my own daughter, and I’m very concerned about my 10 year old grand daughter because of what she’s being exposed to as a female. Patriarchy hurts everyone! It’s merely a false belief, but try to change someone’s beliefs!! Their belief is reality to them. Stupid cattle in a stupid world. What the hell will it take to change this backassward culture (that is now going Global)??? The male and the female make a whole Human Being. Even if you don’t have a partner you can embrace the opposite sex’s essence and the 2 will become 1. (sorry if I inserted some occultisms, sometimes I can’t help it, it’s just the way I think) ~ For Sophia’s blessings 😉

    1. Now that you mention Egypt, I feel like I have heard something similar. At the end of the day, I truly believe the best world is created when the genders are equal. Whether that be in society, law, business or in the home, everything is better when everyone is equal and able to contribute their best to the world.

  6. Swarn Gill, it seems that you have taken something that I quoted from the so called Christian bible personal. That is your right as is mine of what I stated and stand behind. You are correct when you say that the whole of the law should be adhered to and because it is not there lies the problem and reason that the crime rate is so high and morality is so low here in the west. But then am I right to debate with those who haven’t even considered reading their own book. Maybe it was a mistake for me to state my opinion to someone that I considered open minded so I leave you all as I came, in peace.

  7. One of the greatest mistakes in our day as writers and even more as thinkers or maybe it’s just the general public? (Or maybe my critical nature; the owl with the lollipop states: “The world may never know!”) As they say it is just one more signs of the times! I love words they are the mold of the universe, the essence of everything that is still unexplored, unknown and that which may never be. Words are as fluid as they are dynamic. Contextually they can be in specific circles the most damning combination of grouped letters ever understood. Or they can rocket man to the sublime reaches of thought and expression in which godlike tendencies are created to muse the masses. I find most of the time though words people use, are rarely used contextually and literally mindless of where those words were birthed and their original meanings were formed. We take a word and we think that they have been around forever! Hardly, not even our style of writing has been around that long. Though words in general have been, contexts of them generally evolve how the societies in which use them constantly use them correctly or incorrectly does not matter, it is how in time and space they come to mean. Take the term ‘White Knight’ for instance. It has become in connotation to mean some one who rides to the defense of some maiden in distress! Thus the rescuer male is stressed, yet both gender sides could be stated. However the meaning it is now is not what it began wherein the days of the Civil War arose a particular group. You can venture who and what they were; was not anything heroic. Some may think that it came out of the Middle Ages, or the famed Renaissance Eras. However this is not true knights and knighthoods aside did not take on just one flavor. Hollywood has us to thank for that. Yet the term sexism unfortunately in postmodern society still stands fought contested and heavily debated. Laws in specific countries have done milestone after milestone for liberation of such backwards policies. Yet, not to tear these down or to reestablish anything better. What is needed is not less or even more laws. We need to venerate identity, applaud individuality, hold high the person, and realize our differences go beyond male and female roles, they go beyond to examine our uniqueness in an ocean where outside appearances are just that outward only a mere shell to the truth that must be discovered, the treasure hidden in a field. If we are as a people whether this nation or any other nation ill or greatly conceived the thing that must be the permanent and noblest freedom of all is to be a friend without restraints.

    1. I agree completely. It’s not about more or less laws. Really, it’s about society’s acceptance of individuality. Laws can only do so much. It is now up to society to adopt the standpoint that all genders are equal.

  8. The term is one of extremes. It’s not an “average” knight after all. When observing this “action of someone who advocates on behalf of another” it can plainly prick the conscience of an average knight, if they feel inadequate in light of the contrast. It reminds me of freeway drivers, where the motto is, whoever drives slower than you is an idiot, whoever drives faster is insane. It’s in our nature to notice the extremes and justify our comfort in the middle.

    1. That makes sense, although I’d hardly call a person who is bullying someone an ‘average’ knight. Perhaps that is why they were bothering to call that girl fake. They needed to do that in order to make themselves feel better (as many bullies do). It was working, until someone came in and reminded them of their inadequacies by standing up for her.

  9. I don’t think that TODAY feminism is a movement for gender equality. I also believe that MATRIARCHY in a democratic country might be better than equality (see a post in my blog). BTW, I am a man, heterosexual, with about 80 years of life experience in different countries.

    1. I have my share of commenters who agree with my views but who disagree with my view of feminism. I think feminism has been plagued by stereotypes like ‘man haters.’ Like every group, there are people who fit the stereotype, but they are a minority. So, I hold that feminism is and always will be about gender equality. While I have encountered feminist with ideas I don’t agree with (for example, I know of one who doesn’t think men should be able to call themselves feminist), that does not make me give up on feminism. It simply means it’s not perfect. That’s okay.

      I wouldn’t agree with the idea of matriarchy either. I think, in all projects – be they business, familial or otherwise – are better when they are done by both genders, with the input of both genders being equal and respected.

  10. Someone’s got to weigh in on the whole not wanting your BF/GF have friends of the opposite sex thing and I think I’m just the girl for the job. I don’t want my BF to have any female friends. Not that he wants any, but if he did he probably wouldn’t have any anyway because he knows it would make me sad. Likewise, I don’t have any guys friends besides his friends and we all hang out together. Now, here’s our reason for feeling this way: As we both see it, why would we want to hang out with another person of the opposite sex when we could be hanging out with each other. It’s not really a ‘jealousy’ thing as much as a ‘we hardly get to see each other as it is’ thing.

    1. I do get that, but that doesn’t sound like a gender issue thing. It sounds to me like you prefer to keep the same group of friends and not to have friends that aren’t shared.

      In that way, we are the same. I have a substantial group of friends. Of this group, four are men. Two are in relationships with women who are my friends and two are single. When we hang out, we are usually all together. That is, both myself and my boyfriend are usually present. If something came up and my boyfriend couldn’t be at the gathering, he wouldn’t care that two of the men there are single. They are his friends too, after all.

      Now, I can understand not wanting a partner to hang out with another woman with it just being the two of them. That could easily be considered a date. However, since my boyfriend and I share the same group of friends, I wouldn’t have a problem with him doing something with one of my girlfriends. I trust him and I trust her.

      Maybe we’re the weird ones. Neither of us has a group of friends that we only hang out with on our own. All our friends are shared.

      1. Yes. We really do prefer to have a shared group of friends. I discussed this with him last night lol It’s just easier.

        I’m in a similar situation regarding the couples in our friend group except the 4 men in mine all have GFs. I trust all of them and their GFs but my BF isn’t friends with the girls just the 4 men. So in my situation, being alone with just 1 of the GFs would be a strange thing to do.

        As far as friends outside of the circle, I have like 3 friends outside our circle so I don’t think it’s that weird to have only shared friends 🙂

  11. A lot of these reactions I feel are justified. Both yours and the commenters. I, however, think “White Knighting” is another internet slang (or at least how we perceive it now) that really only applies to internet. Or at least I treat it as such. As such, I don’t feel like it’s right to defend a women on the internet just solely on the fact that she’s a woman, therefor needs protection. Debating is fine, this “white knighting” is not. It implies that a women cannot protect herself or needs special attention because she is solely a woman and unable to do so herself. I believe on the internet we are all on level playing ground and should be treated as such.

    But then again, my views are kind of radical. I don’t believe anyone should get a tax break on being married, but rather the amount of time you have spent together on a piece of land. I believe in strict separation of church and state as much as possible outside freedom for religious institutes and separate educational experiences (like similar to learning geography… Or include it in geography). I also believe in the right to free speech and protests in most cases (which includes the right to both support and oppose civil rights or any issue polarizing issues, as it’s discriminating to say everyone should support what you support, even if said opposers discriminate themselves).

    1. Since you’ve clearly put some thought into your stance, I just wanted to raise one concern with your proposal to tax people based on time spent together on a piece of land. It seems, based only on your description, like it would favor long-term residents, discouraging young families from joining a community as well as older families from leaving it — if one faces a higher tax simply by being new to a property, why would they move?

      The extended consequence of such a policy would be reduced freedom of movement; more specifically, movement of labor. An optimal market will allow people to go where the money is. A roadblock like a “new fish in the pond” tax would simply be yet another case of unnecessary government interference in the market.

      While I agree that the government should have no role in determining the LEGALITY of a family unit, the government still requires some specificity in determining the nature of the family unit so that taxes can be levied fairly and properly. I think a model of taking the highest-income earner and letting him claim dependents (be they children, nonworking spouses, or what-have-you), then factoring in other income-earners in the family to determine a tax rate is a good way to go. We are not lacking for other ideas, though [1]. The one I just gave is vaguely similar to what we have now in the US, although I only wish the real system were that simple.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_taxes

      1. You raise a very good point that I didn’t think of. So thank you for bringing it to my attention. By the taxes I was talking about, I was talking specifically about the marriage tax breaks and the solution I provided was purely conceptual and improvised, as I’d never claim to be an expert in domestic economics.

        I think new families and new home owners should be given their own incentives that don’t rely on marriage, such as perhaps a stronger new home owner tax break, or a stronger first-child tax (adopted or otherwise) break because really I see these people as being the most in need of a tax break.

        But then again, I’m no expert, just giving very loose and idealistic alternatives to a marriage tax. I just don’t particularly like the marriage tax break.

    2. I’ve never heard the term used that way on the internet, so I have a questions. How can you tell the difference between someone who is simply standing up for a fellow fan and someone who is “white knighting?”

      As for your other points, I don’t know enough about the tax code to comment. I do think I agree with you about the protesters but I’m unsure of the context. There’s a difference between protesting in a public space and protesting on someone’s private property.

      1. I think the short answer is that you really don’t. The most experience I’ve seen with white knighting comes from when I have done it in the past and stories when when guys defend a woman for their “honor” just to expect attraction. The same guys also wear fedoras and say “m’lady”. It’s more common than one would think.

        And you bring up a good point on protesting in public vs private property. When I was talking about the equal rights for all protestors I meant that I see a lot of people who are pro universal civil rights who can’t respect others right to disagree. It didn’t apply to you so much as I just wanted to say it out loud as I don’t normally talk about civil rights.

  12. I have to admit that on the internet, I have tried my utmost to keep my gender hidden. I have posted, commented and blogged before in the implied guise of either gender at one time or another, either to blend in or stand out (luckily Jules can be a unisex name lol) and have seen how both have their share of burdens. Burdens that my fragile ego can’t really bear. So ive gone down the route of genderless neuchach.
    It has always bothered me though that even simply standing up for someone, trying to be a catalyst for positive will bring cynicism. And people feel they have the right to call you out on them…

    1. I think about that when I imagine a crazy future where I publish a book. Should I used my full name or should I use a name that sounds unisex? If I thought people would be more likely to read that book under a unisex name than my own, I might very well choose that option.

      To your other point, the internet can be cruel. Too many people they have the right to smash other people’s ideas. While there is nothing wrong with respectful criticism, there is something terrible about personally attacking someone just for their views.

  13. Love this post. People often call me a feminist because I can get riled up when I see gender inequalities, but I don’t really like the term feminist. I like to think of myself more broadly as an equalitist because I have a problem with inequality on all levels, gender, sexual, racial, etc. I think there’s a lot of unnecessary masculine pressure being put on men, and I think there are a lot of sad presumptions about men, like you said that men doing something for a woman is often said to be motivated by sex, for example. I’m more for people being kind to people for no other reason than to be kind.

    1. While I do call myself feminist, under your definition, I am also equalist. There are a lot of issues and inequalities in our world. I think one of the reason why I keep the label of feminism is because the pressure of patriarchy are what create that unnecessary masculine pressure. I’m not saying you have to though. Just, if I think about it, that’s one of the reasons why I say I’m feminist.

  14. “Sometimes I feel like this is still a radical idea. I have my share of men who are great friends. Why is that such a threat?”

    Having gotten the third degree back in the day regarding male friends (including the fact that we hugged regularly), and from talking in detail with an older male coworker and friend, I think it’s a generational thing.

    A couple generations ago, sex was much more of a forbidden fruit, so anything involving guys and girls was sexually charged and suffered from forbidden-fruit complex. Nowadays, the mystery is gone. When you have “permission” (mentally, socially, whatever) to have sex when and with whom you want, the sexual tension is gone and it’s easier to see people as PEOPLE rather than for what’s between their legs.

    Some of that old dynamic remains, but by and large I am excited to see the progress we are making away from that culture.

    Regarding the marriage equality debate of the earlier comments, it doesn’t matter what a particular religion says. To a Christian (for example), what makes their marriage sacred (and legitimate in their book), is to commit to each other before God. Filing the paperwork in the county clerk’s office has nothing to do with whether or not they are married in the eyes of God (which is what matters to them). “Marriage” in a particular state is only an administrative declaration of a shared household. So it really shouldn’t matter if what a particular state defines as “marriage” differs from what a sacramental marriage is in their denomination of choice.

  15. Forensics and science have come a very, very long way…you mentioned a male being assaulted by a female…first off the statistics are against you in that one. It is indeed very rare and also…it is disgusting. Yet secondly looking at ‘advantage’ a woman must have and I mean must have the physical advantage over a guy to commit such an act. Lastly and MOST importantly is THE SCIENCE…I am thankful for inventions such as the ‘rape kit’ (not speaking from my own personal, horrible experience) but…the fact that a thing like the rape kit that forensics use in assault and rape cases can actually tell if the penetration of a sexual act was consensual or non consensual is astonishing and certainly reassuring. That is one thing that can not be tampered with…”Evidence, NO MATTER HOW DEEP YOU BURY IT. IT SOMEHOW ALWAYS FINDS ITSELF BACK AT THE TOP OF ALL THE LIES. Thank G-d !!!!

    1. It’s not impossible for a female to rape a male. You don’t need physical strength if you can slip the right drugs into their drink. I really think gender should just be removed from the equation. Any gender can rape any other gender. A person shouldn’t be prevented from seeking help or told that what happened to them wasn’t a crime just because they don’t fit the description of a typical rape victim.

      1. Whats your point?! Is that some kind of reverse psychological threat? You do realize you are not the only smart one out there who could look at a situation and fully understand what is hidden between the lines? Why would anyone do that to another person?? It sounds like you understand PSYCHOLOGY very well.

        1. My point is that just because rape usually involves a male perpetrator and a female victim does not mean situations of rape outside of that stereotype should be ignored or belittled.

          1. YA I AGREE. I am a soldier and while on active duty I heard of this one incident where this ranger raped one of his male soldiers. Considering the fact that the army takes THE CONCERNS OF THEIR SOLDIERS SERIOUSLY. Because all soldiers need to be deployment able at any time. He told the military and they put the ranger that assaulted him in prison with a dishonorable D. I also know that if a soldier has a complaint about bad advice about any kind of mistreatment from anyone who is or was EVER employed by them or by DOD for that matter (Especially in instances where they are involved in the care of soldiers)…especially if there is ALREADY a paper trail that was started a long time ago. Then the military has no choice but to proceed at the desire of the soldier (no matter how CRAZY they sound). Because the SOLDIER is the one they need for combat. They have to take those requests pretty serious. I personally know TWO JAG officers who are friends of mine that served with me while I was on Active Duty. THEY ARE SOME OF THE SMARTEST PEOPLE I EVER MET. They said if I ever came into trouble they were a phone call away!! How great is that?!! ONE OF THEM IS A GENERAL OUT AT ONE OF THE PRIOR POSTS I WAS STATIONED. Not saying I would ever need them but I do ask em how they are every now and then. I mean I once was in a lot of trouble and my friend stopped the repercussions with the WAVE OF HIS PEN. AND WITH THE WAVE OF A GENERALS PEN…ALMOST MIRACLES CAN HAPPEN…THANK G-D I KNOW PEOPLE LIKE THAT.

            1. That reminds me…it has really been awhile. I need to call at least one of them because he is about to come off deployment soon. I am VERY interested in how he’s doing and how his deployment went. He is about to retire so his deployment is his last. I guess you have to stop somewhere (even Generals). I have the EYES to make them see what I am seeing, as the TRUTH IS THERE…NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO.

  16. As a middle-aged feminist, I can confirm Chris Detrick’s interpretation of the implications of “white knight.” It predates the internet, back to the days when it was considered “gentlemanly” to open doors for women, let them go first, etc. The feminists of the 70s quite rightly identified this as a perpetuation of the notion that women are fragile and vulnerable and need to be protected (subtext: and controlled, by stronger, more powerful men), and called for an end to this behavior, replacing it instead with common courtesy towards people of any gender. Even today, I’m sure every woman pedestrian has felt the uncomfortableness of having a male driver at an intersection insist that she cross in front of him, even when he was there first, and you feel his eyes on you the whole time. You can’t know whether it was sincerely intended as a courtesy, but it can feel really controlling. While I agree that it is appropriate to call bullies out, even when it is not you that they are bullying, it’s also important to recognize that doing this FOR someone can amount to another type of bullying. The bully is trying to disempower someone. If you rush in and rescue them, YOU are taking their power, which is not much of an improvement over the bully taking it. None at all, in fact, since by “rescuing” them, you are endorsing the bully’s framing of their role as helpless victim. And in all honesty, aren’t white knights showing that they see a woman as less powerful than themselves when they intercede in this way, by assuming that she can’t do the same thing for herself? Now I understand that this may be done with total sincerity and intention to help, just as many men opened doors for women with the understanding that they were showing respect. However, the person you are rescuing has no way to know whether you are sincere or not. To her, it may just look like men battling for dominance with each other, using her as the battlefield. A better way to help in this situation is to put the power back in her hands by addressing the bullied person directly, ignoring the bully, and offering a conversation in which you counteract whatever the bully is saying (in this case, for example, by treating the person as an equal fan), but always letting her take the lead. This also applies to racist situations. Your role as a third party is to support a bullied person’s re-empowerment of theirself, NOT to take over. Since bullies isolate and diss people, simply being there and supportive is quite effective. Nikkil 0507, I like “equalist.” After many decades of feminism, and debates about whether sexism or racism or classism was the worst ism, or the root ism, I came to the conclusion that opposing patriarchy wasn’t broad enough. Now I oppose hierarchy in any form, and consider it to be possibly the greatest failing of humans. If we abdicate our personal power to the most selfish, competitive, amoral people among us (which is who tends to end up at the top rung of hierarchies), we can hardly be surprised that many people suffer in our societies. But “equalist” is a better word for it than “anti-hiearchist,” since it describes what is needed instead of what is wrong. TK, my favorite definition of feminism is one that used to appear on NOW T-shirts: “Feminism: The radical notion that women are people.”

    1. I haven’t had your intersection scenario, but I often hold doors open for people – just as a courtesy. At least 50% of the men I hold doors open for will take the door for me and insist I go first. I’ve learned to shake it off. They’re just old fashioned, but there shouldn’t be anything wrong with a woman holding a door for a man. I’m just being nice over here. Can you imagine that reversed, if a man held open a door and the woman took it from him, insisting he go first. It’d likely feel a bit emasculating.

  17. Well, I’m not in favor of dropping a door in the face of anyone, which a few men still pointedly do to women in reaction to feminism, but I think *insisting* someone goes before you is a control trip regardless of the genders of the people involved. Why that should be less objectionable to women to men? Women have egos too.

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